Putting Education Reform To The Test


Stories about students and the initiatives designed to improve performance. Are the many education reforms Florida has adopted having an impact?

Latest Posts

FAU Students Building Robot Boat To Conquer The World

Ivan Bertaska, Anderson Lebadd and Edoardo Sarda run their robotic boat through the motions on the Intracoastal Waterway near Dania Beach.

On the Intracoastal Waterway near Dania Beach, Ivan Bertaska was getting ready to captain his vessel. Bertaska wants to check the boat’s capabilities by having it speed up and slow down as it carves a wavy wake across the Intracoastal. “The wave pattern actually gives me a good range of velocities,” he said, “so at [...]

Report: Miami-Dade’s Poorest Schools Have District’s Least Experienced Teachers

Pablo Ortiz with the Miami-Dade education transformation office says district schools are improving and they are working to make sure the least-experienced teachers aren't concentrated in the district's high-poverty schools.

Students in some of Miami-Dade’s lowest-income schools are more likely to have teachers who are new to the profession, who miss more school time and who receive lower evaluation scores, according to a new analysis by the National Council for Teacher Quality. Washington, D.C.-based NCTQ looked at student and school data by school board district [...]

Florida School Districts Preparing For Central American Immigrants

More than 100 Honduran students have enrolled in Miami Jackson Senior High School the past two years. Principal Carlos Rios says the school must make sure their basic needs are met.

Jessica Gaspar was born in the U.S. and grew up speaking English at school — but at home, she speaks Q’anjob’al. That’s the Mayan language spoken by her Guatemalan parents. She said she and her brother struggled to practice their English once the school day ended. It’s why Gaspar volunteers at a community center on a [...]

Take An Audio Tour Of Florida’s Newest University

8-14 PolyConference

Florida’s 12th university, Florida Polytechnic University, is an architectural marvel that sits right next to Interstate 4 in Polk County. The main building features a swooping veil-like facade designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The public can get a peek of the new campus when it opens on Saturday. But WUSF reporter Steve Newborn took [...]

A Q & A With The President Of Florida’s Newest University

President Randy Avent is preparing to open Florida Polytechnic University near Lakeland.

This coming Saturday marks the grand opening for Florida’s 12th state university. Florida Polytechnic University, in Polk County, will offer a tuition-free education focused on science, technology, engineering and math — STEM — to its inaugural class of about 550 students. They start on August 25th. President Randy Avent sat down with Robin Sussingham from [...]

Where Should Programming Fit Into Florida School Requirements?

Students at the CodeNow workshop in Miami learned to program simple games, such as asking users to quickly match words and colors.

Lots of people think teaching students computer programming is a good idea. But where coding fits in schools is a difficult question. Is it a science? A language? Career training? Florida lawmakers proposed, but did not approve, letting students substitute coding for foreign language or physical education courses required for a high school diploma. The [...]

Why Taking More Breaks Can Help Students Get More Done

The tomato-shaped timer that gives the Pomodoro Technique its name.

Set a goal. Work hard. Then, take a short break to recharge. That’s the thinking behind the Pomodoro Technique, a time management method used by and deadline-driven professionals, including coders, developers and the organizers of the CodeNow camp we attended in Miami. The Pomodoro Technique was created by programmer and consultant Francesco Cirillo in the [...]

Computer Programming Camp Offers Lesson In Logic

CodeNow's Kareem Grant works with students during a June coding camp in Miami. Grant likes that coding requires disciplined thinking.

Ryan Seashore starts off every CodeNow workshop with a simple request — write out step-by-step instructions for making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. A CodeNow teacher pretends to be a robot, and follows the students’ orders exactly as they’re written. Students quickly find that asking a computer to perform an everyday task isn’t so [...]

Florida Schools Rearrange Schedules To Add Extra Hour Of Reading

307 Florida schools must add an extra hour of reading instruction this year.

Florida schools are making plans for how to add a state-required extra hour of reading instruction, according to two stories out today. In 2012, lawmakers required that the 100 schools with the lowest scores on the FCAT reading test add an extra hour of reading instruction to try and boost those scores. When the Office [...]

Study: More High School Math And Science Requirements, More Dropouts

Washington University researchers found the more states added math and science requirements, the more likely students were to drop out of school.

Adding more math and science courses to high school graduation requirements made students more likely to drop out, according to a recently published study by Washington University researchers. The study compared course requirement changes between 1980 and 1999. Florida was among a group of states with the most required math and science courses — six. [...]

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »